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Daily Rounds: The Farmer At Heart Of Health Care Case; The Texas Extreme; A Long History of Fat; Crusaders In Medicine

This article is more than 7 years old.

At Heart of Health Care Clash, a 1942 Case Of A Farmer's Wheat (The New York Times) — "To hear the Obama administration tell it, the Filburn decision illustrates just how much leeway the federal government has under the Constitution’s commerce clause to regulate the choices individuals make in matters affecting the national economy. If the government can make farmers choose between growing crops on their own land and paying a penalty, the administration’s lawyers have said, it can surely tell people that they must obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.Opponents of the law draw a different lesson from Mr. Filburn’s case. They say it set the outer limit of federal power, one the health care law exceeds. It is one thing to encourage farmers to buy wheat by punishing them for growing their own, the argument goes. It is another to require people to buy insurance or face a penalty, as the health care law does."

A Tale Of Two Health Insurance Extremes (Kaiser Health News) — "The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010 — more than the entire economy of France or Britain. But the amount spent and how it's used varies from state to state.And, at the opposite ends of the spectrum: Texas and Massachusetts. At 25 percent, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Massachusetts, where a 2006 law made coverage mandatory, has the lowest rate — less than 2 percent of people are uninsured. Here's a look at two Americans who are living the reality of that difference..."The Long History of Dieting Fads (The Lancet) — "Foxcroft's book is published at a propitious time, then. Calories and Corsets is packed with jaw-dropping anecdotes about the pursuit of the ideal body through dieting. She explores the relationship of physicians to diet-conscious patients in Europe and America over 2000 years (although most of the book focuses on the period after the 18th century) and deftly weaves together histories of food, medicine, advertising, and popular culture. Shockingly, she exposes the tyranny that dieting imposes on women in particular. Corsets are just one example. In early-modern Britain, women might bind them so tightly that they gashed their sides. When 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré performed autopsies on “pretty women with slender waists”, he was able to lift the skin, revealing “their ribs which overlapped each other”. Today, Foxcroft suggests that about one-quarter of women think about food every 30 minutes. The dieting industry feeds off our failures to stick to diets and to successfully lose weight."

A Drumbeat On Profit Takers (The New York Times) "The old crusaders are getting just a little creaky: Dr. Arnold S. Relman, 88, has a hearing aid and the hint of a tremor; Dr. Marcia Angell, 72, osteoporosis and arthritic hands. But their voices are as strong as ever. Colleagues for decades, late-life romantic partners, the pair has occasionally, wistfully, been called American medicine’s royal couple — as if that contentious Tower of Babel could ever support such a topper. In fact, controversy and some considerably less complimentary labels have dogged them as well. From 1977 to 2000, one or both of them filled top editorial slots at The New England Journal of Medicine as it grew into perhaps the most influential medical publication in the world, with a voice echoing to Wall Street, Washington and beyond."

This program aired on March 20, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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